Day Trippin' the Puget Sound
June 5, 2009 · Updated 3:25 PM
Travel two hours west and you're in the wooded reaches of the Olympic Mountains, a couple more and you're at the ocean. Ferry east across the sound and you're in the heart of the city. Ferry north and you're in another country.
Centrally located between those extremes, Kitsap epitomizes the age-old Green Acres/Park Avenue dilemma. It's the best of both worlds: nice enough place to live here and just far enough to get away.
Now if only it didn't cost so much to leave.
Almost every path from the peninsula to the mainland extracts a toll or fare, unless you're captaining your own boat. But don't let that discourage day trips. There's always the free trip north — now that the bridge is back up and running — across Hood Canal.
TO THE BEACH
There's something about the northern shores of the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas — they've got sand. Actual sand. None of this rocky, barnacle-ridden junk — real sand-castle-making, dig-your-toes-in, still-finding-it-in-your-pockets-three-days-later kind of sand.
It's what the beach is all about.
And kids adore the stuff.
Find a bevy of it at Fort Worden State Park, — along with a cache of old military buildings, bunkers and coastal artillery remnants — just north of Port Townsend, a little over an hour away from Kitsap, across the Hood Canal Bridge.
TO THE RAIN FOREST
An hour or so further across Hood Canal, another fool-proof field trip for kids is the Olympic Peninsula's Hoh Rain Forest,. One of the few temperate rain forests in the world, the place exemplifies adventure. See spruce and hemlock trees of tremendous size along the trail, listen and watch for flora and fauna of all types. And, a bit further down the road, search for vampires and werewolves with your teenaged daughter on the famed Forks' "Twilight" tour.
TO THE CITY
Even a short trip to the city — to visit the museum, the aquarium or the Space Needle, — can have a profound impact on a little one. Beyond the knowledge and wonder the destinations provide, the trip itself can be a learning experience on traveling to and staying safe in the city.
Like they say, the point of the journey is not to arrive, but to have fun going from point A to point B.